Once upon a time Elvis sang:
“Open your eyes the sky is full of butterflies
The blossoms on the trees stir up the honey bees
Spring makes my fever right
Spring fever, Spring is here at last
Spring fever, my heart’s beating fast
Get up, get out spring is everywhere*”
Obviously I was the only one in the classroom that was wanting to cut class as a result of the change of seasons! For me it is a desire to be outside looking for signs of spring renewal in my garden. Living in Phoenix this condition strikes early in February when daffodils and wildflowers begin their bloom. I wander out studying the ground, examining the sprouts encouraging the flowers and pulling the weeds.
Today thousands & thousands of camellias bloom in March and April, in shades of red, pink and white. These plants are now small trees in what remains perhaps the largest camellia garden in the country. The plants are shaded by a 20 acre stand of Live Oak trees which filter the sunlight and provide a canopy of shade for both the plants and the garden lovers strolling by.
Boddy also hired Walter Lammerts to develop lilacs that could thrive in the warmer climate of southern California. For a brief time in late March and early April 500 hybridized lilac bushes burst into bloom and provide the intoxicating scent of spring that I remember from my childhood.
If your sense of spring longs for tulips, iris, flowering fruit trees, forsythia, lilacs, camellias, and clusters of wisteria draping over the wall, then Descanso gardens is your cure for a serious case of spring fever. As the song says. .
“Just grab a car or hop a bus.
there’s excitement to be found.
Don’t miss the joy of spring
The world’s in love just look around.
Spring fever comes to everyone,
Spring fever, it’s time for fun!*
music & lyrics by Giant – Baum – Kaye)
originally published in Roots & Shoots